Lab Rat Poem by Jasmine Kessler
Jasmine Keesler is a biotechnology Junior at UNCG. She enjoys expressing the turmoil in which complexity of complexion plays a role not only within the African-American community but also within the realm of the society we live in. In her poem, Lab Rat, she express her take on this issue primarily through photography but also through poetry. She think the auditory platform conveys my message more clearly and broadens the spectrum on colorism and what it means to be a women of color in this era.
There used to be such a high to being someone’s first.
“First,” in the sense of them venturing out
trying something new
and never acknowledging it again.
Like a free sample.
Like finally reading that book everyone’s been talking about.
And for fear of missing out on the fun
on the talk
on the taboo of it all
they search for it.
And disguise themselves as cultured
and “woke” on racial issues
and socioeconomic politics.
Then he spots you:
The book everyone’s been talking about.
And you let him open you up.
Flipping through your pages
with decrepit hands.
“You’re the first black girl I’ve ever slept with.”
You feel: Exotic and queen like.
Powerful because you have blessed someone
with the gleaming radiance
You feel: Valued
because your complexion never has been
and someone has taken interest in it;
all you have ever wanted.
You dedicate your time
Always readily available.
And with each nightly visit and each stroke
and every morning or afternoon
where you offer to see him outside of
hushed apartment visits
and dim, slammed car doors,
“I can’t, I have a lot of work to do today”
but as soon as the clock strikes 2 am
your “hotline blings.”
And like a fool
you answer it.
That is when your gleaming radiance of melanin
begins to dim.
“You’re the first black girl I’ve ever slept with,”
The Jungle Fever experiment.
He was the mad scientist
And you were the lab rat.